A Birmingham chef has been named Chef of the Year at the British Curry Awards.

Lasan’s Khalid Sami Khan won the title after impressing judges at a cook-off.

The award comes hot on the heels of Khalid’s kitchen colleague, Muraliraj Narashimaraj, winning the UK South Asian Chef competition.

Khalid's award was collected on his behalf by Lasan director Aktar Islam, at a ceremony at The Battersea Evolution in London.

Jabbar Khan, director of the Lasan Group, said: “Having won the British Curry Award for four consecutive years, this year we decided to step to one side and enter one of our talented chefs in to this new category.

“Our chef director Aktar Islam has blazed a trail for Indian cuisine and I’m delighted with both Khalid and Muraliraj’s successes, which are testimony to the high quality, delicious food that customers expect from Lasan.”

Rilys in Redditch was named Best in the Midlands.

Meanwhile, event organiser Enam Ali, editor of Spice Business, called on the Government to give the curry restaurant industry a tax break to stimulate trade.

Mr Ali said: “Along with virtually all other sectors in the hospitality industry, we are feeling the squeeze of the spending downturn. If we are not to see our industry contract seriously for the first time, we need some government help to stimulate spending.

“A 5 per cent cut in VAT for the hospitality sector would help to boost the numbers of people dining out, promote growth, create more jobs and, in turn, bring more money flowing into the Exchequer.”

Mr Ali also called for specialist courses in curry cooking to be set up in catering colleges and universities to help solve a shortage of skilled chefs in the British curry industry.

He said: "We have a lack of properly trained curry chefs and waiting staff in this country.

"It's a huge problem. And with an Olympics just around the corner the whole hospitality industry needs to be ready to host visitors in true British style."